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The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) HMNZS Aotearoa (A 11) conducting Replenishment At Sea (RAS) Station Keeping Trials off the South Korean coast recently. Accompanied by a Philippine Navy BRP José Rizal (150), the trials assessed the ability for a ship to approach and remain alongside Aotearoa as a confirmation of the ship’s pressure and suction zones during refuelling or replenishment. The trials have validated HMNZS Aotearoa ability to undertake replenishment-at-sea operations, ahead of deliveries to the respective operators. Aotearoa and José Rizal were both built by South Korean shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

HMNZS KUPARU (Q1348 – P3563)

Q1348 was one of 16 Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDML) to be delivered to the RNZN in 1943-44. Commissioned on 14 March 1944, it joined the 125th ML Flotilla based in Auckland before being placed in operational reserve in late 1945. Commissioned for use by the Canterbury RNZNVR Division in August 1948, it was renumbered P3563 in early 1950 and commissioned as HMNZS Kuparu in March 1968. Kuparu ceased fisheries patrol duties in June 1975 when the Lake-class patrol boats entered service. Along with Manga, Haku and Koura, she was allocated to an RNZNVR Division for training. Initially at Auckland, Kuparu transferred to Lyttelton in 1976. With the new Inshore Patrol Craft entering service, she left Lyttelton in July 1983 for retirement, spending brief periods attached to Wellington and Auck...

Crossed the Bar: Robert Batt

Former Petty Officer Robert Batt, a veteran of the Battle of the River Plate in 1939, died last month at the age of 94. Ex POMEM Bob Batt was one of only two remaining River Plate veterans. He joined the Navy during a recruitment drive in Napier before the war. He was three days into service on HMS ACHILLES when war broke out and the ship changed course for the Atlantic to meet up with a British task force, in pursuit of German battleship Admiral Graf Spee. The engagement and resulting loss of the Graf Spee near Uruguay (her captain opted to scuttle his damaged ship rather than re-engage the British fleet and lose thousands of men) made instant heroes of the ACHILLES crew back in New Zealand. Mr Batt later described the Battle of the River Plate as an important battle “because it showed th...


HMNZS Matataua is a commissioned ship in the RNZN and is made up of three distinctive groups hydrographers, divers, and logistics that operate primarily within the littoral or coastal waters. MATATAUA provides deployable maritime capabilities to conduct operations that safeguard access to the harbours, inshore waters and littoral zones of New Zealand and wherever New Zealand Defence Forces are required to operate. Matataua is based on small, deployable, mission-based detachments utilising a wide range of equipment, platforms and tools to deliver its mission. It is capable of being rapidly deployed by air, sea and land into operational areas. Specialist teams within the groups can be quickly assembled into a composite force. The groups are: The Military Hydrogr...

COMPETITION: Name Ports of Auckland New Tug

Be in to win $1,000 and a ride on the new e-tug! Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) will soon be welcoming the world’s first full-sized electric tug. Enter the competition to name her here: Entries close Weds 3 June at 5pm. Good Luck!


This film clip is well worth watching, you may even recognise yourself or someone you know! This NFU film follows the maiden voyage of HMNZS Otago. Built at a Southampton shipyard, she was the first ship made for the Royal New Zealand Navy. The anti-submarine frigate is shown undergoing sea trials in 1960, before a haka on the Thames and a bon voyage from Princess Margaret send the Otago homewards. There are visits to ports in the Mediterranean, Suez, Singapore and Australia (where the crew enjoy shore leave) before arrival in Dunedin in January 1961. The Otago later supported protests against nuclear testing at Mururoa; she was decommissioned in 1983.


There are hidden tunnels in North Head, Devonport, containing airplanes and ammunition. See the interesting documentary at the link below

HMNZS MARORO – Q1192, P3554

Q1192 was one of 16 Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDML) to be delivered to the RNZN in 1943. She was commissioned on 28 September 1943 and joined the 126th. Flotilla at Auckland . Her anti-submarine patrols covered the port approaches, the Hauraki Gulf and northwards to Cape Brett. She was ready in March 1945 to be deployed to Manus Island but this was cancelled and she transferred to Wellington instead. She paid off from war service in October 1945 at Auckland, was disarmed and placed in reserve on a mooring. In 1948 she returned to service and commenced duties on the ‘Tamaki’ run to Motuihe Isand. At this time she was reclassified as a Seaward Defence Motor Launch (SDML) and in 1950 was renumbered to P3554 and named Irirangi. The Tamaki services ended in August 1963: she was modernised...

Aotearoa Station Keeping Trials Completed

Aotearoa conducted Replenishment At Sea (RAS) Station Keeping Trials off the South Korean coast recently.Accompanied by a Philippine Navy Light Patrol Frigate, the trials assessed the ability for a ship to approach and remain alongside Aotearoa as a confirmation of the ship’s pressure and suction zones during refuelling or replenishment.She passed with flying colours.It wont be long now before she sets sail for New Zealand and her commissioning.

Navy Ships return to sea in Hauraki Gulf

Maritime Component Commander Commodore Mat Williams said that under Covid-19 restrictions non-essential training had been postponed for the past four weeks, even though operational capability was able to be maintained while the ships were moored at Devonport Naval Base.“However, as an essential service we must be ready to respond for missions such as search and rescue, border control – including patrol of our exclusive economic zone supporting other government agencies – and humanitarian aid and disaster relief,” Commodore Williams said.Four RNZN ships will be training in the Hauraki Gulf from 28 April to 22 May.HMNZS Hawea and HMNZS Otago would be at sea for about three weeks over that period, with HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Manawanui at sea for shorter spells. Seasprite helicopters would...


For those of you who served on the “Rock” but were unable to attend the reunion and are interested in purchasing a copy of Fred Wilson’s commemorative booklet, the “History of the Rock” Fred has sold out of all the extra copies he had. He has arranged for a second printing of a small number of books. However, the small printing run does result in a considerable increase in cost. The new cost of the book will be $21.00, again just to cover the cost of the printing. Refined charges for courier post-delivery for the book are: NZ – $5.00, except Rural Delivery addresses. NZ RD – $6.70 AUS – $11.00 UK – $24 All prices are in NZ dollars. To order the book send an email to and don’t forget to include your postal address for delivery of the book. Fred...


HMNZS Charles Upham (A02) was a Mercandian 2-in-1 class roll-on/roll-off vessel operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) between 1994 and 2001. The vessel was built for the Danish shipping company Mercandia during the early 1980s, and operated under the names Mercandian Queen II and Continental Queen II. The New Zealand Defence Force had identified the need for a logistic support ship as early as the 1970s but it was not until the 1991 white paper that planning to acquire a ship commenced in earnest. Mercandian Queen II was for sale around that time, and although not as capable as the RNZN had initially specified, was purchased in 1994. The ship arrived in New Zealand in 1995 under the name Sealift, and was commissioned later that year as HMNZS Charles Upham. The ship was named for Ch...

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